Local meals and beverage entrepreneur Michael Shemtov has added one other undertaking below his belt to assist fellow restaurateurs, cooks and people within the meals and beverage neighborhood. Shemtov has partnered with BLAKE, a small PR firm that tells tales “responsibly, with context and confidence” to construct nationwide model consciousness for smaller restaurateurs and cooks via The Bee Fund.
“I know folks who could benefit from PR but don’t necessarily have the contacts or maybe don’t have the budget to spend on it,” Shemtov stated. “One of the things that I try to think about is, if we’re going to do something, how can it benefit not just the people that we’re lucky enough to know, but the wider community?”
The Bee Fund is providing recipients an opportunity to construct a nationwide fame and share their story. Every six months, BLAKE and Butcher & Bee will select from a pool of candidates “who can come from anywhere geographically and anywhere in the food world — from food cart operators to emerging CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands to system disruptors and everything in between and beyond.” The chosen recipient will then work with BLAKE for six months, constructing model recognition and consciousness.
BLAKE has labored with shoppers who’ve landed in Bon Appetit Top 10, Esquire’s Best New Restaurant in America record and helped name-changing manufacturers like spice firm Diaspora Co. and Chinese sauce and dumpling model Fly By Jing.
“We tend to work in a pretty fluid and agile way,” stated BLAKE proprietor Blake MacKay. ”I wish to work with shoppers who aren’t type of, , huge or chained or company or something like that.”
To that finish, the primary recipient of The Bee Fund are locals Maryam Ghaznavi and Raheel Gauba of Malika in Mount Pleasant and soon-to-be-open Ma’am Saab downtown. Their Pakistani delicacies has taken Charleston by storm.
“We felt like we had somebody who just was a perfect candidate with a great story, with something new,” stated Shemtov. “This sort of fit exactly the business that we wanted to help lift up and promote.”
When planning The Bee Fund, Shemtov knew what Ghaznavi and Gauba needed to share, and believed their scope was bigger than the Lowcountry. There’s significance, he stated, in a pair of Pakistani immigrants taking up the house at Jestine’s, an iconic consolation meals haven named after the black cook dinner and housekeeper of the restaurateur’s white household. “I think [Ghaznavi and Gauba] have a bigger story,” stated Shemtov. “It really could be a national story in any national publication, especially around, you know, opening downtown in this spot. It’s like, it has a bit of a challenging history to it.”
After Shemtov shared the couple’s story with MacKay and Peter Shrieve-Don, a BLAKE account supervisor, the pair got here to share Shemtov’s sentiment: “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a story that needs to be told nationally, and that will be of interest to national media,” MacKay stated. ”They simply want to concentrate on it. We’re speaking internationally, too. We undoubtedly need to type of seize some media in Pakistan as properly.”
“We were just giggling with excitement when we got off the phone,” Shrieve-Don stated. “And I know this word authenticity is used in so many different ways nowadays, but you know, authenticity in this situation is obviously undeniable and in this industry, we all know that authenticity has longevity. We just think that this partnership and the story is a great deal.”
Ghaznavi and Gauba, too, share the sentiment, and are honored to be the primary recipients of The Bee Fund.
“This is just another representation of the world responding positively to positivity.”Ghaznavi stated. We don’t see it as, like, ‘Hey, we just found some magic formula and we’re simply going to go forward and milk it.’ It actually is for a objective. And the aim is to share and form of break boundaries and stereotypes of the place we come from, the place I come from.
“As a female Pakistani, and being recognized as a chef, internationally or nationally, you know, out of Pakistan, doesn’t happen very often. It doesn’t happen. I don’t even know many names around the world even if that happens.”
“You know what sets a great business apart from an extraordinary one? The extraordinary one is the one that set out to tell their story,” Gauba added. “You know, how they tell their story, who were the people that helped them tell the story; all those things matter. We didn’t get into this business just to make money. It’s not driven by that, it’s driven by our desire to spread the word, to share our cuisine. It’s to share our story. It’s to share what Pakistani culture is. And Michael has been a huge part in us being able to tell that story.”
After their time with The Bee Fund, Ghaznavi and Gauba plan to share what they be taught and assist “graduate another class” of upcoming cooks and restaurateurs.
“We’re the first, and by definition, that means we’re not the last,” Gauba stated. “And the most exciting part about the fund itself is that there’s going to be a fraternity, there’s going to be mentorship, there’s going to be growth as a community.”’
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